The Walmart Shuttle (RIPTA)

Alright, so a route I can’t really ride. Since I can’t actually ride this route (because, ya know, I don’t live at one of the served housing projects), I’ll have to rely on Street View and Wikipedia again. So, what does this route serve? Let’s see.

This is what we’re working with for scheduling. Credits: RIPTA

So, as the picture above describes, it stops at several housing complexes around western Cranston, ultimately terminating at Walmart. That is, the same Walmart that the 19 terminates at. So, what do we have? Two whole hours of Walmart shopping! Now, maybe there’s some people that are more avid Walmart shoppers than I am, but I can’t shop for two hours straight anywhere, not even at a Micro Center.

Yup. That’s a 40ft bus.

The shuttle itself isn’t even something like a RIde or Flex bus, but rather a full-on 40ft bus. Now, let’s look at the various stops this route stops at.

Jennings Manor!
Arlington Manor….which is across the parking lot from Jennings Manor
Harris House, in low-grade JPEG quality!
Devan Manor, with a proper bus stop outside it!
Scituate Vista!
The route, according to PantographApp. Red stops are inbound (to Walmart), blue outbound.
A bus stop sign for the route. Credits to this person on Twitter for making me aware of the fact these signs exist.

Ridership, I cannot say as I’ve only ever seen three old people total get off one bus one Thursday. But, I’m sure it’d be similar in number to the 10X given the fact it’s a Thursday-only route that runs once each way. I’m also sure if it ran 7 days, or at least Monday-Friday, more residents at these places would take advantage of it.

The good: It’s probably a lifeline to the outside world for the people who do take this route. Yeah, they could take the 30, which runs more often and has weekend service, but if you’re a frail old person, would you want to run the risk of slipping and getting injured on, say, a snowy day when the Walmart express bus stops at the front door of your apartment complex instead? Would you rather risk heat stroke waiting forever and the risk of the bus missing your stop?

The bad: I guess, it’s the limited scheduling. But, for something like this you probably don’t even need more than one bus trip a day. Would the people appreciate more options? Probably. But is it necessary? I can’t speak for them on that. Although, if I were in their shoes, I’d appreciate additional options for Walmart trips, along with something timed to connect with the 19.

Nearby points of interest: A bunch of housing developments and Walmart, really.

Overall, the concept of the route is a good one. It’s important, and for those who use it, is probably a lifeline. I can’t really fault it for anything since I’m not even in the target demographic. Although, I can’t help but think that sometimes, maybe the route would be better utilized if there were more round-trip options. Perhaps, a morning trip that arrives at Walmart at 9am and leaves at 11, an afternoon trip that arrives at 1 and leaves at 3, and an evening trip that arrives at 5 and leaves at 7? Just a thought. But please though, could the city of Cranston take this thing off RIPTA’s hands? From a financial perspective, they have little reason to keep this thing, and I’m sure it’d be in better hands with the city’s housing authority providing shuttles to places.

Rating: 3/10, but 9/10 for the idea.


Author: chelsea

i own this site and write.

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